One Programme Comprehensive Evaluation (End of Cycle)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type:
UNDAF
Planned End Date:
11/2018
Completion Date:
02/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title One Programme Comprehensive Evaluation (End of Cycle)
Atlas Project Number: 00032102
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2018, Bhutan
Evaluation Type: UNDAF
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2018
Planned End Date: 11/2018
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 44,331
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: Yes
  • Joint with GNHC, all UN agencies and IPs
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Roger Maconick Intl. Consultant
Dil Maya Local Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: GNHC and UN agencies
Countries: BHUTAN
Comments:

All Outcomes.

Lessons
1.

This evaluation identified the following lessons learned:

1. UNDAF Programming: The One Programme had budget constraints especially in Outcomes 3 and 4 with ambitious goals covering all the NKRAs of the RGoB. With the changing development finance landscape, budget cuts have become prominent especially among some agencies with delivery of less than USD 2 million per annum. Such budget cuts and an overly scattered focus (raised by the RGoB counterparts on a number of occasions) may contribute to low level of achievement. Efforts need to be made to have a prioritized and focused approach in the next UNDAF. While the One Programme at strategic outcome level, is adaptive and flexible to emerging needs and priories, there needs to be a well-documented rationale for results accountability and a means to monitor progress against agreed changes.

2. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: The planning, monitoring and evaluation of the One Programme was a challenge as the One Programme lacked a Theory of Change (ToC) and an M&E mechanism to monitor and report on UN contributions to the 11th FYP as well as ensure that the support is adequately reflected in the RGoB planning and monitoring system. The next UNDAF should have:

a) PME Group: The PME group was not active to ensure quality planning, monitoring and evaluation of the One Progamme. Well-resourced planning with dedicated capacity to the PME is recommended (bearing in mind the success achieved by extra capacity given to the OMT).

b) Theory of Change with simple Results and Resources Framework using common SDGs indicators with the RGoB.

c) Harmonized Approach for Reporting: UN agencies and implementing partners bore the burden of increased transaction costs related to multiple reporting. A harmonized approach for reporting among UN agencies should be explored. This approach will provide important opportunities for increasing efficiencies.

3. Coordination: There is room for improvement in coordination within UN agencies in Bhutan, and with the RGoB, CSOs, and non-resident agencies (NRA) and ESCAP of the UN.

a) NRA/ESCAP: The UNCT is not fully aware of the NRAs/ESCAP work in Bhutan. This needs to be addressed to avoid potential overlaps and duplication.

b) RGoB: The basic lesson in coordination with the RGoB is the UNCT should prioritise and work collectively considering the transaction costs that individual agency planning, monitoring and evaluation processes impose on the RGoB. At the same time, weak leadership and ownership of the RGoB and UN Co-chairs to annual planning, reviewing and reporting process was issue. The limited involvement of co-chairs in coordinating mid & end year reviews and CPB (the planning, reviewing and reporting) often resulted in less upstream policy discussion and strategic planning. Leadership and ownership at all levels both CPB and Outcome Group level of RGoB and UN should be enhanced.

i) CPB: The next UNDAF should review the CPB membership. More relevant Implementing partners need to be included as CPB members. CPB membership should be limited to those ministries which work directly with the UN – more CSOs should be included. 

ii) Outcome Group: The next UNDAF requires stronger management arrangements (eg. appointing RGoB Facilitators in addition to UN Facilitators). Enhanced engagement by Outcome Groups (especially Co-chairs) is required to reduce transaction costs.

4. Resource Mobilization: The UNCT needs to look beyond traditional source of financing as the phasing out of Bhutan’s development partners and the improvement in Bhutan’s microeconomic indicators takes effect. In the immediate years, Bhutan is likely to transition from LDC status which will also impact the UNs ability to undertake successful resource mobilization. The current under-resourcing of Outcomes 3 and 4 is a hard-earned lesson.

a) Joint Resource Mobilization: Joint programme initiatives can lead to enhanced resource mobilization opportunities and increased UNCT ownership of joint results. Going forward, actions to streamline joint resource mobilization should be considered-actioned.

b) One Fund: One fund can act as a catalyst for larger investments. The UNCT members should better utilize the One Fund including using it as a conduit for agency resources.

5. Communications: Stakeholders recognize agency specific results and achievements, however, there were low levels of recognition for the achievements of the One Programme. This is because there was less awareness and sensitization of the One Programme among stakeholders. There is space for improvement in joint communication including the establishment of a dedicated UN communications team.

a) Communications Group: The Joint Communication group was not active. A well-resourced plan with dedicated capacity for communications is important in order to achieve advocacy-communication results.

6. Common Business Operations: Common Business Operations has been relatively successful with a strong leadership of the OMT chair (UNDP) and strong support from the Common Service Officer. The following issues need to be addressed during the next UNDAF:

a) There was a delay in finalising and endorsing the BOS. Although the BOS was only signed in June, the finalization of the BOS took more than a year. This experience demonstrates that the next BOS should be formulated before the start of the UNSDPF. 

b) The Operations costs and budgets have not been integrated in the overall medium-term Common Budgetary Framework. This can be addressed by partially incorporating the operations costs and budgets, especially common services costs and budgets into the medium-term CBF.


Findings
1.

Under Outcome 1, the work of FAO, UNDP and UNICEF helped Bhutan integrate more equitable, inclusive and resilient approaches to its efforts towards addressing environmental sustainability, climate change and natural disasters. Capacities for integrated natural resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation and poverty-environment mainstreaming have been increased. National and local institutions are better prepared to respond to and mitigate climate-induced and other disaster risks.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Crisis Response Natural Disaster Environment Policy UN Agencies Poverty Reduction

2.

Outcome 1 has been effective in working with the government to strengthen institutional and coordination capacity for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management at both national and local levels supporting climate change preparedness and adaptation practices including through strengthened early warning systems and response mechanisms.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster risk management Country Government Coordination

3.

Gender equality and women empowerment, particularly, has been better mainstreamed in the sustainable development area compared to previous years. With limited resources to be allocated towards employment opportunities for vulnerable groups, Outcome 1 has been less effective in significantly impacting national unemployment figures. Nevertheless, investing in multi-dimensional approaches to integrate/mainstream poverty reduction and livelihood issues in environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction projects, has helped to create some self-employment opportunities and enhance livelihood in rural areas, especially for women.


Tag: Disaster risk management Vulnerable Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Jobs and Livelihoods

4.

Indicator progress shows a strong achievement in Output 1.1 Policies and studies for integrated natural resource management, climate change adaptation / mitigation and poverty-environment nexus developed and Output 1.2 National and local institutions and individuals are better prepared and able to respond to and reduce climate change induced and other disaster risks.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster risk management Natural Resouce management Poverty Reduction

5.

Output 1.1: Policies and studies for integrated natural resource management, climate change adaptation/mitigation and poverty-environment nexus developed.
In 2014, the National Disaster Risk Management Strategic Policy Framework was drafted with UN support to strengthen policy pertaining to disaster risk reduction, and to highlight key priorities emerging from the Disaster Management Act of 2013. The UN also supported a study on intelligent transport systems to reduce environmental impacts of an economy centred on hydropower and tourism, sectors that grew by 6.7 percent in 2015.


Tag: Disaster risk management Ecosystem services Environmental impact assessment UN Agencies Policy Advisory

6.

The UN supported a National Forest Inventory, capacity building in carbon emission factoring, capacity building in forest reference level identification, assessment of community forest in the country, developing concept on integrated watershed resources management, assessing the drying of spring water and its impact on environment-food security-health nexus. The UN provided substantial policy advice and technical support for the disaster management strategic policy framework, while also improving the disaster management information system by enhancing the Bhutan disaster assessment tool.


Tag: Crisis Mitigation Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster Risk assessments Disaster risk management Emission Reduction Natural Resouce management Food Security Capacity Building Policy Advisory

7.

Output 1.2: National and local institutions and individuals are better prepared and able to respond to and reduce climate change induced and other disaster risks.
The UN mobilized resources to provide four additional performance-based Climate Change Adaptation Grants to local governments for use between 2014 and 2016. In total, eight local governments (two districts and six villages) will use the grants to help communities adapt to climate change. New guidelines for assessing climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning were developed as part of the UN’s commitment to assist local governments on new investment plans.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster risk management Global Climate Fund Resource mobilization

8.

In 2015, Bhutan took major steps toward becoming more disaster-resilient. The country’s ability to respond to natural and climate-induced disasters has been strengthened at both policy and field levels. With the UN’s support, the Ministry of Economic Affairs established a National Weather and Flood Warning Centre in Thimphu. Real-time monitoring of hydro-meteorological conditions in the country enables timely advisories and warnings to be issued about weather, flood and glacial lake outbursts. The new centre was linked to the National Emergency Operation Centre and state-of-the-art weather and water-level monitoring stations in the country’s 20 districts.


Tag: Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster Recovery Disaster Risk assessments Disaster risk management Natural Disaster Country Government UN Agencies

9.

The UN also supported the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in the procurement of emergency supplies for the National Emergency Operations Centre, Dzongkhag Emergency Operations Centre and tents along with capacity building of staff for using it. The UN also helped to prepare nutrition and WASH contingency plans for emergency and trained health, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS), DDM and Deesung staff.


Tag: Crisis Mitigation Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster Recovery Recovery Resilience building Procurement Country Government Capacity Building

10.

Output 1.3: Increased domestic and external trade and industry opportunities that are pro-poor and gender responsive.
Through the Sustainable Rural Biomass Energy Project, Bhutan has one of the world’s highest per capita consumption of fuel wood, the main source of energy for the 70 percent of Bhutanese who live in rural areas. Traditional household cooking stoves consume significant amounts of wood which emit CO2 – the primary greenhouse gas contributing to human-induced climate change – and cause serious health problems related to indoor air pollution.


Tag: Emission Reduction Gender Mainstreaming Poverty Reduction Trade and Development

11.

The UN is working with the Department of Renewable Energy and other national stakeholders to train female technicians to build and repair fuel-efficient stoves. Around the country, 220 women are now equipped to help rural families adopt this improved technology. By December 2016, 12,500 rural households were already using these stoves.


Tag: Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Country Government Capacity Building

12.

The UN provided financial support to place 111 hectares of degraded land under sustainable fuel wood plantations, and 66,934 hectares of forest under community forest management (overall 1,988,357 hectares under sustainable in-situ conservation) and 1,122 additional remote households shifted from using smoky open fires to clean cooking stoves. This contributed to improvements in women’s health with a reduction in Acute Respiratory Infections by 3.7% and nasal problems by 7.8%.


Tag: Energy Natural Resouce management Women's Empowerment

13.

Output 1.4: Food and nutrition security policies developed with a particular focus on productivity and food safety.
To develop food safety standards, the UN trained the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority and customs officials on risk-based food inspection and identification, prevention and control of pests and diseases linked to climate change. The UN supported the Ministry of Health (MoH) to finalize the Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) Strategy and Action Plan and supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), and MoH to develop, approve and implement the FNS Policy 2014. The UN also supported various other projects including projects for reducing maize post-harvest loss and increasing rice productivity.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Non-Communicable Diseases Nutrition Country Government Food Security Capacity Building Policy Advisory

14.

Output 1.5: Youth, women and other vulnerable groups have access to sustainable employment with a focus on cottage, small and micro enterprises in line with the RGoB’s commitment to a green economy.
In 2014, to better understand the views of unemployed youth on employment prospects and labour markets, a youth perception survey was conducted and an eight-point plan was presented to the RGoB to boost youth employment. An analysis of the online gaming project yielded data provided by youth to help plot out practical solutions through this online platform. They are to be used by policy makers in drafting a Youth Employment Strategy.
The UN continues to promote and strengthen small and medium enterprises that are generating employment opportunities for young people and women. Interventions in 2015 have led to six micro enterprises being set up for youth entrepreneurs. In addition, more than 240 women from low-income communities are working in eight weaving groups that are now operating as textile-producing micro enterprises.


Tag: Vulnerable Green Economy Women's Empowerment Country Government Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

15.

Output 1.6: The rural poor and under-employed have access to alternative income generation opportunities.
The UN targeted support to rural communities to contribute to poverty reduction on results from CSO partnership in rural areas. The formation of self-help groups with high women representation and the adoption by 1,096 households of water harvesting systems generated spin-off health and education benefits addressing multi-dimensional poverty.
In 2016, the UN contributed to direct employment creation for 226 people, and provided self-employment opportunities for a further 16,057. The RGoB has now prioritized farmers’ groups, co-operatives, commercial farming and agri-business enterprises targeting job creation.


Tag: Gender Parity Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

16.

Under Outcome 2, work by UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP contributed to strengthening the education systems capacity, enhancing capacity to effectively coordinate, plan, implement and monitor the provision of quality and inclusive education services, improving preparedness and response plans for disaster and emergencies, outbreaks and health security threats, enhancing the management of school feeding, promoting WASH in schools and youth friendly services. The key results and achievements between 2014 and 2016 are presented below.


Tag: Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Sanitation Water resources UN Agencies Capacity Building Education

17.

Output 2.1: Strengthened education systems capacity for improved education knowledge management for evidence-based decision making.
The UN supported the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Tarayana Foundation to establish new early learning centres. This helped to achieve an increase in population coverage for early learning from 10% in 2014 to 18.6% in 2016.
With UN support, the number of non-formal education centres increased from just five in 1992, to 668 in 2016. The number of learners has also grown from 300 to nearly 10,000 over the same period. Eight of these 10 centres were provided with books and equipment for training on sewing, weaving, carpentry, agriculture, health and childcare. Today, one of every five learners is using these skills to earn an income. Different UN agencies have supported various components within the non-formal education initiative.
For a more sustainable and strategic approach to capacity building and institutional development, the UN supported the development of a pre-service Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Diploma programme at the Paro College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan. The course was launched in December 2015.


Tag: Capacity Building Education Jobs and Livelihoods Technical Support

18.

Output 2.2: Stakeholders have the capacity to effectively coordinate, plan, implement and monitor the provision of quality and inclusive education services.
In 2014, the UN supported five assessments, studies and evaluations to provide evidence to support prioritising educational issues and policy making, as well as refining existing strategies. This included a review of life skills education taught in schools led by the Department of Youth and Sports.
The MoE and the Dratshang Lhentshog – the Commission for Monastic Affairs in Bhutan – ensured more adult and young monks and nuns gained functional English literacy and numeracy through non-formal education. A total of 281 non-formal education instructors and 47 monks and nuns in 14 monastic institutions were trained to teach the English curriculum to their peers and communities.


Tag: Education Youth Policy Advisory Technical Support

19.

Education for children with special needs was another focus area for the UN in 2014–2018 which was addressed through tailor-made strategies for children with visual and hearing disorders. Teachers were trained on basic ear and hearing care, and a National Ophthalmic Policy was developed. More than 390 children with disabilities were able to access education through new special education needs schools.
In 2015, the UN partnered with the MoE to map disability interventions across Bhutan. The goal was to identify gaps in services and opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration to improve the education, health and protection of children with disabilities. As a result, almost 500 children have gained access to education after two schools were identified to provide education for children with disabilities.

The UN has also supported a school-improvement project aimed at enhancing the quality of education for the most disadvantaged children in rural areas. This work, piloted in five districts, included constructing new water and sanitation facilities, providing furniture and educational materials, and training teachers and caregivers. Some 1,160 children in remote schools are now benefiting from improved facilities and better-quality education and care.


Tag: Sanitation Water resources Strategic Positioning Country Government UN Agencies Disabilities Education Youth

20.

Output 2.5: Health and education systems have improved preparedness and response plans for disaster and emergencies, outbreaks and health security threats, and ensuring that all communities are able to access minimum basic services.
The MoE incorporated emergency preparedness into non-formal education, early childhood care and development and special education programmes to improve disaster response procedures in the education sector. The initiative continues to strengthen disaster management plans in schools and raise awareness in contingency plans in four districts in 2015. The UN also trained teachers on emergency preparedness and response. Tents have been prepositioned at strategic places to be used for temporary schools. The UN conducted WASH in emergency simulation exercises in three regions and prepositioned supplies as well. Now WASH in emergency training is integrated into De-Suungs training.


Tag: Crisis Mitigation Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster Recovery Natural Disaster Resilience building Sanitation Water resources Health Sector Education

21.

Output 2.6: The management of school feeding is enhanced and WASH promoted in schools, monastic schools and nunneries.
In 2014, as part of handing over the school feeding programme to the RGoB, 7,000 children have transitioned from UN support into the government school meals programme as the UN support is being scaled down over time. Through non-formal education efforts, the UN supported school feeding programme has been able to generate greater community ownership of early childhood care and development on health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and child protection. It is also seen as a promising way to address the fact that only nine percent of three to five year olds have access to early childhood care and development services.
As part of handing over the school feeding programme, the UN has increased its support to capacity development with increasing focus on nutrition and integrating the various approaches to the school feeding programme. To ensure the smooth transition and sustainability of the programme after it ends in 2018, an assessment identified areas needing capacity development support as well.


Tag: Sanitation Water resources Nutrition Food Security Education Youth

22.

With more than half of Bhutan’s schools located in rural areas, the Farm-to-School (F2S) programme promotes a valuable collaboration. It educates teachers and students on new advances in farming, encouraging students to be inquisitive. It also links farmer groups with schools in their community and enables farmers to earn an income by supplying fresh produce to the schools. The F2S was scaled up in collaboration with the MoAF, and the programme organized 25 farmers’ groups and trained more than 20 teachers from across Bhutan in 2015. The farmers are now connecting with local schools and teachers are reaching thousands of students around the country. The agriculture and health ministries have observed a reduction in child malnutrition since nutritious food became more available thanks to the F2S programme. The programme has also built a foundation for farmers to engage in commercial agriculture. The UN provides more than 24,000 students with nutritious hot meals at school every day. The RGoB, which is gradually assuming responsibility for the national school feeding programme, now provides daily hot meals to almost 33,000 students.


Tag: Agriculture Rural development Nutrition Food Security Education Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

23.

In 2016, a priority has been the capacity development of the RGoB counterparts to ensure a sustainable school feeding programme. The focus has increasingly been on nutrition, including the introduction of fortified rice and nutritional related studies. While acute malnutrition rates have dropped significantly over the past decade, stunting rates still remain unacceptably high, equally challenging are the micro-nutrient deficiency rates among school going children.


Tag: Nutrition Country Government Food Security Capacity Building Education

24.

In WASH, the construction of water supply schemes and toilets with support from the RGoB and the UN has drastically increased the coverage. Based on recent data on hygiene aspects, about 96% of schools in the country have trained school health coordinators (EMIS 2017).


Tag: Sanitation Water resources Country Government UN Agencies Education Technical Support

25.

Output 2.7: In school and out of school youth have increased access to and utilize youth friendly services.
With the UN’s support 553 schools and three colleges implement life skills education programmes to empower adolescents to exercise their reproductive rights and to take informed decisions to realize their full potential. The MoE, Youth Development Fund and colleges have now expanded youth volunteer networks to engage out-of-school youth and provide them with an opportunity to learn life skills, counselling, mentoring and other services from their peers. The MoE and the UN organised the first national conference for school guidance and counsellors where best practices and emerging youth issues were discussed. To create an enabling environment and encourage vibrant youth participation, the Department of Youth and Sport (DYS) in the MoE was supported to organize five participatory and interactive capacity building programmes for adolescents and youth in one district (Gelephu), using a comprehensive service delivery plan that was finalized in 2015. Also four youth centres organized life skills education (LSE) training for out of school youth providing information on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health services. Y-PEER initiatives in ten colleges and nine youth centres have been instituted as guided by National Y-PEER guidelines and monitoring tools for Y-PEER initiatives. Y-PEER Bhutan has been commended for excellence in the region. Y-PEER initiatives also expanded to reach out of school youths in collaboration with youth centres and other youth groups.


Tag: Reproductive Health Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building Education Social Protection Youth

26.

Under Outcome 2 Health, the work of UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and UNDP contributed to providing quality maternal, newborn and child health care, nutrition, reproductive health and STI/HIV services, promoting WASH in monastic schools and nunneries, enhancing knowledge and skills to adopt behaviours and practices for improved health, nutrition and well-being, access to adolescent, sexual and reproductive health services and young people and improving access to medical supplies and health services by strengthening the national public health procurement system and the legal and policy environment. The key results and achievements between 2014 and 2016 are presented below.


Tag: Drinking water supply Sanitation Water resources Health Sector HIV / AIDS Nutrition Reproductive Health Policy Advisory

27.

Output 2.3: National health system has strengthened capacity for information management, evidence based decision making, effective procurement and supply management and identification of appropriate health financing models.
The UN supported the development of the first National Reproductive Commodity security strategy (2014–18) which guided the National Reproductive Health Programme on ensuring the availability of essential reproductive health supplies especially contraceptives. The strategy also guided the strengthening of the logistics management and information system (LMIS). The revised LMIS system is expected to replace most of the manual recording and reporting system, thereby reducing the workload and making the data available in a real time basis.


28.

In 2016, the UN supported the national capacity building of health staff on procurement and supply chain management both in-country and outside the country. The UN supported the MoH to conduct an ‘HIV and the Law Review’, the first in the country, and also developed an action plan based on the results. The UN also supported the MoH to review the existing Intellectual Property law and Bhutan’s ongoing international negotiations (WTO and other trade and investment agreements) for safeguarding public health. This was completed in 2017.


Tag: Health Sector Country Government Capacity Building

29.

An assessment of effective vaccine management was conducted in October 2015, and key findings used to update the improvement plan. An immunization coverage assessment was also conducted in six hard-to-reach areas. The findings will be used to develop micro plans and improve service delivery.


Tag: Access to Medicines Monitoring and Evaluation Service delivery

30.

The UN continued to provide technical and capacity-building support to focal points responsible for emergency obstetric and newborn care in all hospitals in Bhutan. The maternal death surveillance modules were adapted, improving surveillance of maternal and neonatal deaths. A technical guide was developed to provide practitioners with guidance on best practices and help end preventable maternal deaths during childbirth.


Tag: Health Sector Reproductive Health Capacity Building Technical Support

31.

A National Nutrition Survey was completed in 2015 by the MoH. The survey provided a detailed estimate of nutrition indicators in the country, particularly of malnutrition and anaemia in women and young children. Information was collected specifically on vulnerable groups, such as pregnant and lactating mothers, children under five, adolescent girls and women of reproductive age. Household information on socio-economic status, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and diet diversity was also assessed. The survey results will be used to inform policy-makers as they formulate a comprehensive nutrition action plan for Bhutan.


Tag: Vulnerable Nutrition Country Government Data and Statistics

32.

Output 2.4: Health facilities are better able to provide quality maternal, newborn and child health care, nutrition, reproductive health and STI/HIV services.
With UN support, Bhutan has consistently maintained a high level of immunisation for the last 30 years. In 2013, maternal and neonatal tetanus and measles were eliminated and in 2014 Bhutan received polio free certification from the WHO. To sustain the momentum, the MoH developed a plan for measles elimination and a polio outbreak and preparedness plan. In 2014, all vaccines and 90 percent of essential medicines, including three contraceptives, were available at health facilities across the country. To prevent maternal transmission of HIV, the MoH extended testing and counselling services to all basic health units in 2016. HIV treatment coverage improved after revising the anti-retroviral treatment guidelines, with technical support from the UN. Mental health care was also integrated in general health services which is now taught at the Royal Institute of Health Studies.


Tag: Reproductive Health Health Sector HIV / AIDS Non-Communicable Diseases Nutrition

33.

Throughout 2015, the UN continued to work toward immunization for every new-born and every child. The inactivated polio vaccine was introduced into the routine immunization schedule in July 2015, as mandated by the World Health Assembly and recommended by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.
The UN’s contribution in 2016 to reproductive maternal, new-born and child health included development of the National Zika Virus guidelines, National Neonatal Resuscitation Training, common birth defects training, birth defects surveillance and registration training, and Early Essential New-born Care and Kangaroo Mother Care training to over 120 health workers.


34.

STI rates, particularly among youth and mobile populations, remain exceptionally high in Bhutan. To promote condom use among key populations, the UN supported the development of localized information material aimed at truck drivers, miners and other vulnerable groups in four districts. The district-level task force and community-based volunteers were also assisted in standardizing STI/HIV prevention messages.


Tag: HIV / AIDS Communication Youth

35.

The UN supported the development of International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) based pre-service midwifery training curriculum by the Faculty of Nursing and Public Health which lead to the inclusion of a competency enhancement module in the curriculum and the midwifery training component increased from six months to one year on the BSc in Nursing & Midwifery course. Following the assessment of faculty members using the ICM competency, the faculty of nursing and public health has now instituted a mandatory 40 hours of clinical practice for the midwifery teaching faculties.


Tag: Health Crises Reproductive Health Capacity Building

36.

Output 2.6: The management of school feeding is enhanced and WASH promoted in schools, monastic schools and nunneries.
The RGoB and the UN have worked closely with monastic institutions to introduce life-skills based education and other healthy lifestyle trainings. These efforts aim to raise awareness among students, practitioners and religious leaders about the importance of living a healthy life. Monastic institutions often have greater reach and impact on communities in adopting healthy behaviours and the reduction of addictions. By educating monks and nuns on healthy lifestyles, they become agents for change and a source of accurate health information in their communities. The training on menstrual hygiene helps prevent reproductive tract infections. In addition, 10 nunneries in eastern Bhutan were supplied with sewing machines and materials with which to make reusable sanitary napkins. Water and sanitation have also been greatly improved at monastic institutions with the installation of child and gender-friendly toilets and aqua-privy toilets, and improved access to water sources. These initiatives have improved the water and sanitation for more than 2,000 monks, nuns and their visitors.


Tag: Drinking water supply Sanitation Water resources Nutrition Country Government UN Agencies Food Security Education Youth

37.

Output 2.7: In school and out of school youth have increased access to and utilize youth friendly services.
Through a comfortable, safe and private setting, a comprehensive package of adolescent health services was established at the National Referral Hospital in Thimphu for which health students and representatives from four hospitals were trained to deliver these services to youth. In collaboration with the MoE, MoH, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency and youth groups, a pilot youth-friendly service was started at the Gelephu district Youth Centre. This centre provides information and services on health, employment and counselling through youth initiatives and activities. Also three referral hospitals and one district hospital have established separate youth friendly health units to enhance the health service utilization by youths. The UN also partnered with the Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency to develop a strategy to communicate the risks of alcohol and drug abuse among youth.


Tag: Health Crises Service delivery Country Government Capacity Building Youth

38.

In 2014, the College of Education in Paro organised the first ever national seminar on sex education with UN support. The aim of the seminar was to create sexual and reproductive health awareness and rights to establish a national network of partners. Over 320 policy makers, local experts, educators, civil society representatives, and students took part in the seminar.


Tag: Reproductive Health Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies Education

39.

Output 2.8: Women, children, youth and other at-risk populations have enhanced knowledge and skills to adopt behaviours and practices for improved health, nutrition and wellbeing.
The MoH developed strategies on reproductive health, child health, health promotion and telemedicine services with technical and financial assistance from the UN. This was crucial in revising the guidelines on standard treatments and antibiotics, as well as a health technology assessment. Monitoring trends in health spending was the key focus of the data collection supported by the UN for National Health Accounts for 2011–2012 and 2012–2013.
The UN supported the RGoB to increase awareness on health and wellbeing through various activities in 2016. Key achievements include i) the launch of the National Health Promotion Strategic Plan 2015–2023 with financial commitments from the key ministries; ii) dissemination of Village Health Worker (VHW) Programme Policy and Strategic Plan and monitoring and supervision tools; and iii) Sensitization of 69 VHW, 177 religious persons and traditional local healers and 173 local government leaders on key family health practices.


Tag: Vulnerable Women's Empowerment HIV / AIDS Non-Communicable Diseases Nutrition Reproductive Health Capacity Building Youth

40.

Under Outcome 3, the work of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women contributed to strengthening the laws and policies to advance the rights and protection of women and children by sensitizing parliament and building the capacity of the Royal Audit Authorities for auditing from a gender perspective; gender mainstreaming in key ministries, autonomous bodies and non-governmental organizations with resourced gender mainstreaming strategies; increasing awareness of and positive attitudes towards preventing and eliminating gender-based violence; and enhancing knowledge, skills, resources and mechanisms to prevent and respond to violence against children. However, Outcome 3 has been less successful in mobilizing sufficient resources and significantly impacting women’s participation in the political process and in decision-making positions in the civil service system and sustainably preventing and eliminating gender-based violence and women’s economic empowerment. The key results and achievements between 2014 and 2016 are presented below.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Capacity Building Youth Policy Advisory

41.

Output 3.1: Strengthening the Legal and Policy Environment to Advance the Rights and Protection of Women and Children.
In 2014, the national civil society organisation Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) expanded women and child protection services to Samtse and Mongar districts. To better implement policies and procedures, legal professionals, police, children and volunteers were trained on child rights protection. Monastic institutions and nunneries were also engaged, and the Youth Development Fund developed a strategic plan and guidelines for their child protection work.
In 2016, the 8th and 9th Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) periodic report was submitted to the CEDAW Committee by the RGoB.


Tag: Women's Empowerment Rule of law Policy Advisory

42.

Output 3.2: Gender Mainstreaming in Key Ministries, Autonomous Bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations with Resourced Gender Mainstreaming Strategies.
The UN worked to introduce gender considerations across all ministries, civil society organisations and the private sector to ensure targets set out in the 11th FYP were financially viable. In 2014, the UN helped develop gender guidelines and a National Review of the Beijing Platform for Action+10, and an international declaration of women’s rights, as agreed at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. Based on UN recommendations, the final report assessed national implementation and compliance with the CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).


Tag: Gender Mainstreaming Rule of law Change Management Country Government

43.

In addition, the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) developed rules and regulations for Acts on Child Care and Protection, Child Adoption, and Domestic Violence Prevention with UN support. The UN also supported the Violence Against Children study. 30 health workers from across Bhutan were trained to manage domestic violence cases; and a high-level workshop was held with the MoH, the Office of the Attorney-General, University of Medical Sciences, Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency, Royal Bhutan Police, NCWC, parliamentarians and civil society organizations. The workshop standardised services for survivors of domestic violence and new standard operating procedures (SOP) and protocols are being developed with on-going UN support.
In 2016, following recommendations made in the Gender Responsive Budget Analysis Report of Three Sectors (education, health and agriculture), the RGoB with the UN’s support included a section on gender in the MTR of the 11th FYP.


Tag: Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Policy Advisory

44.

Output 3.3: Boys, men, girls and women have increased awareness of and positive attitudes towards preventing and eliminating gender-based violence.
In 2014, the UN partnered with and explored network opportunities to eliminate domestic violence and initiatives of the multi-sectoral task force of the MoH and community volunteers from RENEW. In order to sustain the RGoB’s work plans, a standard operational guideline on ‘Reaching out Together, Empowering Communities’ was initiated. RENEW also trained media houses, representatives of private security services, and the Bhutan Olympic Committee on domestic violence, reproductive health and violence against children.
Media professionals were trained on gender sensitive reporting and joint advocacy messages to be broadcast on national media every week beginning in 2015. Videos on engaging men and boys as positive role models were also produced by RENEW. Since monastic institutions are trusted by communities, the UN worked with the Bhutan Nuns Foundation to encourage nuns and monks to prevent and address domestic violence in their communities.
In 2015, the UN launched the HeForShe campaign in Bhutan, which puts men at the centre of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities experienced by women and girls. The campaign galvanized support throughout the country with more than 900 people, including the Prime Minister, committing to take action for a more equal society.


Tag: Gender-Based Violence Communication Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies

45.

Domestic violence remains a pervasive issue in Bhutan, with 73 percent of women becoming victims of abuse at some point in their lives. In response, the UN has networked effectively among key stakeholders such as the police, the courts and volunteers, raising awareness around the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. This training also led to a joint annual work plan that will strengthen multi-sector collaboration in tackling health and social challenges. The UN continued its tradition of observing International Women’s Day (March 8) and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) in partnership with members of the multi-sector task force and community-based support system volunteers. As a result, partnerships were strengthened among volunteers, teachers, village headmen and monastic institutions. On November 25, a message from His Holiness the Je Khenpo (head of the monastic system) attracted wide support as he called on Bhutanese to end all forms of violence against women and children.


46.

Output 3.4: Institutions, communities, families and children in a minimum of four districts have the knowledge, skills, resources and mechanisms to prevent and respond to violence against children.

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the CRC adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, the UN organised a children's summer art camp with VAST Bhutan, a civil society organisation for children, with the theme: ‘Imagine Y/Our Future’.
With UN support, an in-depth qualitative research study on violence against children was completed in 2015. The study, phase two of a three-phase project, identified the drivers of violence against children and gathered children’s and adults’ perceptions of violence against children. It also generated important evidence on current knowledge, attitudes and practices related to violence against children in Bhutan. The study’s findings contributed to the design of a prevalence study, to be completed in 2016. To improve reporting and response services amid increasing violence against children and women, the UN – in collaboration with the Scottish Police College and the Royal Bhutan Police – developed a capacity-building programme for first responders, investigators and specialist police officers on child-and-women-friendly policing practices. 10 police officials, trained as trainers, instructed a first batch of 40 police personnel – including officers – at the women and child protection units and desks.


Tag: Gender-Based Violence Youth Data and Statistics

47.

In 2016, with completion of the research on violence against children, Bhutan for the first time has robust data on violence against children. This key evidence will be crucial to shape the national child protection policy, especially the National Child Protection Strategy as well as the Plan of Action on Child Protection. This will also be a useful tool for increased investments in child protection in the next five-year plan. Professionals who come in contact with children, including welfare staff, teachers, counsellors, police and judicial officers now have improved knowledge and skills to deal with children. Focused interventions such as the women and child friendly policing curriculum for police has enabled police to deal sensitively and effectively with women and children. Additionally, engagement with girls working in drayangs (entertainment clubs) has led to improved understanding of their vulnerabilities among programme implementation and monitoring officials. The work on protection of children with disabilities led to better knowledge among service providers about the protection needs of children with disabilities.


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Security Disabilities Youth Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

48.

Under Outcome 4, the work of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women contributed to strengthening national and local institutions for integrated planning, monitoring of national five-year plans and evidence-based decision making. The UN contributed to the preparation of the groundwork that will help coordinate the justice sector and promote citizens’ access to legal aid. Central and local governments are better able to deliver effective, equitable public service and communities have become better equipped to exercise principles of democratic governance with a focus on inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, decentralization and evidence-based decision making. The UN effectively contributed to the consolidation of Bhutan’s parliamentary democracy in the context of the 2008 Constitution, helping to strengthen the capacity of Parliament, the Election Commission, the Royal Audit Authority, the ACC and the Office of the Attorney General during their inception years. The UN partnered with CSOs as effective channels to promote democratic principles and to respond to the needs of vulnerable groups, bringing about positive humanitarian and development results at the local level. However, the UN has been less successful in mobilizing sufficient resources. Key results and achievements between 2014 and 2016 are presented below.


Tag: Anti-corruption Rule of law Monitoring and Evaluation UN Agencies Policy Advisory

49.

Output 4.1: Key national and local institutions strengthen systems for effective public finance management and integrated monitoring of plans and programmes, evidence-based decision making based on harmonized national statistics and information.
The UN supported the National Statistics Bureau to prepare for the next Population and Housing Census and to establish village data management systems introduced in all 205 geogs administrations. The systems will strengthen the capacity of geogs to gather reliable data on population dynamics for policies and planning.
The UN also helped the RGoB undertake a comprehensive vulnerability assessment to determine baselines and targets, identify data and information gaps, and recommend future policy directions. This paves the way for addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in Bhutan and is helping the RGoB look at inequality in a more holistic way, specifically on disability, gender and HIV.


Tag: Vulnerable Public administration reform Change Management Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Advisory Technical Support Data and Statistics

50.

Output 4.2: Local government and public administration bodies are better able to deliver effective and equitable public services.
The UN strengthened the organization of the local governance system. This was achieved through the support to the Department of Local Governance, local elections in 2011 and the designation of “Class A” municipalities with elected mayors in 2011. The UN’s continued technical support to fiscal decentralization provided evidence-based inputs for the government’s decision-making process through baseline studies that included recommendations on possible revenue sources at the local level, along with mechanisms for equalizing central government budget allocations. To contribute to nationwide transparency, accountability and anti-corruption efforts, and efficient, effective public service delivery with sound financial management practices, the UN has effectively partnered with CSOs in promoting people’s rights to information and promoting e-governance at local and national levels. The UN’s key achievement is the setting up of Virtual Zomdu in communities nationwide to connect voters with Parliament.


Tag: Anti-corruption e-Governance Local Governance Rule of law Service delivery

51.

With UN assistance, the NCWC drafted a National Action Plan for Equality in Elected Offices in 2014.
The Department of National Budget issued detailed guidelines, through a Budget Call Circular, to ensure that the proposals submitted by agencies are gender balanced.


Tag: Gender Parity Country Government

52.

Studies were used to strengthen the leadership of prospective and current female local leaders. Studies by the Election Commission of Bhutan and the Institute for Gross National Happiness Studies implied further need to promote individual and community level awareness and behavioural change to increase women’s participation in governance.
Following the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, the RGoB endorsed gender responsive planning and budgeting (GRPB) as a key strategy to achieve gender mainstreaming. The UN worked to strengthen the capacity of officials at national and district levels to “engender” plans, policies and budgets, particularly in agriculture, health and education. The Department of National Budget and the UN, with support from the Asian Development Bank, undertook GRPB analyses in those three key sectors.


Tag: Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Local Governance Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building

53.

Output 4.4: Media and CSOs are better able to promote the participation of people – in particular youth – in democratic processes, public dialogue and discourse.
Communication tools like the new interactive parliamentary website and video conferencing between Members of Parliament and their constituents were developed to improve participation in government processes. The scaling-up of the Virtual Zomdu project connected 47 constituencies with their 72 parliamentarians. This initiative, made possible by the UNDP Innovation Fund and with UN technical support, strengthens constituents’ oversight of elected officials. It enables citizens across Bhutan to meet with their parliamentarians virtually and frequently, so they can find out about the work of their representatives and share their own views and priorities.


Tag: Communication Innovation Youth Technical Support

54.

In the context of further strengthening democratic structures and towards enhancing capacity of key stakeholders and policy makers to analyse, understand and influence social policies, a certificate course on Social Policy was introduced for the first time by the Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan. Two groups of 55 participants, including parliamentarians, civil servants and CSO representatives, were trained in 2016.


Tag: Country Government Capacity Building Policy Advisory

55.

The UN partnered with four civil society organizations to support the empowerment of adolescents and youth by providing 35 grants for start-ups managed by groups of young people. These six to 12 month, youth-led initiatives, with budgets ranging from USD 500 to USD 2,000, were in diverse areas, including education, environment, violence against women and children, employability and entrepreneurial skills. This experience enhanced grantees’ capacities to manage an entire grant cycle, including grant application, implementation, monitoring, financial management and reporting.


Tag: Partnership Civil Societies and NGOs Capacity Building Cash Transfers Jobs and Livelihoods Youth

56.

Output 4.5: People have greater awareness of their rights and increased access to formal and informal justice redressal mechanisms.
To improve access to justice, an international symposium on legal aid was held by the Office of the Attorney General following which the Bhutan National Legal Institute developed a road map for inclusive and effective legal aid. The UN also supported draft social media policies and helped review the Ethics and Integrity Infrastructure to advance transparency and good governance.


Tag: Anti-corruption Justice system Communication Policy Advisory

57.

The UN worked with the Bhutan National Legal Institute to increase their capacity to educate and raise awareness among youth about legal issues, and to monitor and coordinate youth outreach programmes.
The NKRA for the Justice Sector was integrated in the 12th Plan Guideline which will allow justice sector development to be inclusive, accessible and fair. The UN will continue to support the development of a comprehensive justice sector strategy in 2017. In partnership with Parliament, the UN developed a Public Hearing Manual which was presented in the 9th Session of the second parliament of Bhutan. The manual provides guidance to Parliamentarians and various committees in performing their legislative, oversight and representational roles to further build and sustain the relatively new democracy.


Tag: Justice system Country Government Capacity Building Youth

58.

Resource mobilization has been one of the biggest challenges for the UNCT during the One Programme implementation. Table 1 (below) shows that five out of seven resident agencies have experienced a budget decline since 2014.


Tag: Challenges Resource mobilization

59.

The quality of support to business operations is critical to the quality of programme delivery. Operating as One is a business model that provides UNCTs with an outline for common operational support of the One Programme. This strategic and cost-effective model capitalizes on existing agency operational capacities and consolidates service provision. Common operations are based on local capacity and needs, allowing for a localized, realistic and scalable approach that matches specific country needs and requirements. The BOS outlines the outcomes and the outputs expected from the OMT for a given period endorsed by the UNCT. The budget for each year is drafted in line with the BOS with the final endorsement made by the UNCT.
Operationally, the common BOS has increased efficiency and reduced costs. It aims to enhance the cost effectiveness and quality of operations back office processes such as procurement, Information and Communications Technology, Human Resources, Logistics, and Admin and Finance. With the BOS and the help of a common services officer there have been costs savings in the form of a surplus of 19 percent (ie. $65,820) (Chart in the budget for premises, security and communication in 2016. This more cost-effective model has capitalized on existing agency operational capacities and consolidated some service provision.


Tag: Efficiency Business Model Joint UN Programme Operational Efficiency

60.

As shown in the table below, the One Programme outcomes are fully aligned with the RGoB 11th FYP and the four pillars of GNH (given that the One Programme was drafted in the context of the four pillars and not the nine domains currently used). 

The UN’s support is ranged across the NKRAs. This might be the reason why the UN receives criticism from the RGoB that the UN’s support is thinly spread all over the 11th FYP and therefore it is difficult to see any tangible results.


Tag: Relevance Programme/Project Design

61.

The One Programme has been flexible in responding to new issues including the national development agenda and international commitments like Agenda 2030 and SDGs. However, there was a non-documentation issue in monitoring the progress under Outcome 4.


Tag: Relevance Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building Agenda 2030

62.

International Commitments (Agenda 2030 & SDGs)
There was ingenuity and responsiveness to new issues including international commitments like Agenda 2030 and SDGs. There are some interesting initiatives such as the UNCT’s support to the RGoB with data ecosystem mapping as a part of the joint programme in response to Agenda 2030. As the programme was initiated in 2016, tangible results have not been observed yet, but the work done so far does appear to link a global process Agenda 2030 to the RGoB's planning work.


Tag: Relevance Agenda 2030 SDG accelerators SDG Integration SDG monitoring and reporting

63.

Outcome 1: The UN was effective in contributing to Bhutan’s sustainable and ‘green’ economic growth in terms of being more equitable, inclusive and resilient to climate change and natural disasters. The UN was effective in enhancing capacity for integrated natural resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and poverty-environment mainstreaming. The UN was effective in strengthening institutional and coordination capacity for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management at both national and local levels supporting climate change preparedness and adaptation practices, including through strengthened early warning systems and response mechanisms. Although the UN provided effective policy interventions for food and nutrition security, the UN has been less effective in enhancing poverty reduction by significantly addressing employment opportunities for vulnerable groups, particularly in urban settings where unemployment is growing as a result of fast urbanization.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster risk management Natural Disaster Green Economy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Poverty Reduction

64.

Outcome 2: The UN was effective in strengthening the education systems capacity, enhancing capacity to effectively coordinate, plan, implement and monitor the provision of quality and inclusive education services, improving preparedness and response plans for disaster and emergencies, outbreaks and health security threats, enhancing the management of school feeding and promoting water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools, and youth friendly services. The UN was effective in providing quality maternal, newborn and child health care, nutrition, reproductive health and sexually transmitted infection (STI) / human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) services and improving access to medical supplies and health services by strengthening the national public health procurement system and the legal and policy environment. The UN was effective in promoting WASH in schools, monastic schools and nunneries, enhancing knowledge and skills to adopt behaviours and practices for improved health, nutrition and well-being, access to adolescent, sexual and reproductive health services and young people.


Tag: Sanitation Water resources Women's Empowerment Rule of law Health Sector HIV / AIDS Reproductive Health Food Security Capacity Building Education Youth Policy Advisory

65.

Outcome 3: The UN contributed to strengthening laws and policies to advance the rights and protection of women and children, sensitizing parliament and building the capacity of the Royal Audit Authority for auditing from a gender perspective, gender mainstreaming in key ministries, autonomous bodies and non-governmental organizations with resourced gender mainstreaming strategies, increasing awareness of and positive attitudes towards preventing and eliminating gender-based violence, and enhancing knowledge, skills, resources and mechanisms to prevent and respond to violence against children. However, the UN has been less successful in mobilizing sufficient resources and having an impact on women’s participation in the political process and in decision-making positions in the civil service system. The UN’s ability to sustainably prevent and eliminate (or significantly reduce) gender-based violence was very limited.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Resource mobilization Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Rule of law

66.

Outcome 4: The UN was effective in contributing to the consolidation of Bhutan’s parliamentary democracy in the context of the 2008 Constitution, helping to strengthen the capacity of Parliament, the Election Commission, the Royal Audit Authority, the ACC and the Office of the Attorney General during their inception years. The UN partnered with CSOs as effective channels to promote democratic principles and to respond to the needs of vulnerable groups and bring about positive development results at the local level. The UN was effective in strengthening national and local institutions for integrated planning, monitoring of national five-year plans, and evidence-based decision making. The UN was effective in contributing to the preparation of the groundwork that will help coordinate the justice sector and promote citizens’ access to legal aid.


Tag: Vulnerable Effectiveness Parliament Capacity Building Policy Advisory

67.

However, the UN has been less effective in mobilizing sufficient resources.
Challenges were observed especially in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the One Programme. The joint programmes/programming have become more active since 2016 because of the change in the nature of proposals being submitted which involve cross-cutting issues like gender, disability and environment sustainability. These types of cross-cutting issues brought more than one agency to work together leading to effective joint programmes/programming (i.e. SDGs, Data and Support to the 12th FYP Formulation, Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Disability, and Emergency Preparedness and Response).


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Resource mobilization Monitoring and Evaluation

68.

Graph 1 shows that the successful resource mobilization was not equally benefitted across the different outcomes. Outcomes 1 and 2 achieved 88% and 103% respectively against the planned budget (2014–2016), while Outcomes 3 and 4 managed only 46% and 41% respectively. The resource mobilization gap is significant under Outcomes 3 (54%) and 4 (59%). This resource mobilization gap clearly impacted the progress of the One Programme.


Tag: Challenges Resource mobilization

69.

There was a significant gap (20% or 37 out of 145 indicators are without data) in the results framework of the One Programme, especially in Outcome 4 where nearly 50% (19 out of 39) of indicators were not updated before the revision. In this group, the revision also did not help much as there were still 14 indicators which lacked regular updates after the revision. Indicator progress may therefore not present reliable results.


Tag: Challenges Results-Based Management

70.

The outcomes faced resource mobilization challenges, especially Outcomes 3 and 4, which mobilized only 46% and 41% against the targets (Graph 1), and also made slow progress in the indicator results as shown in Graph 2. On the other hand, the outcomes with sufficient funds, Outcomes 1 and 2 with 88% and 103% resource mobilization results (Graph 1) have made relatively good progress.


Tag: Challenges Resource mobilization

71.

How effective has the One Programme planning, monitoring and evaluation mechanism been?
Under the guidance of the PME group chaired by UNICEF, the One Programme planning and monitoring mechanism played a basic role in monitoring and reporting annual progress of the One Programme. Outcome Groups chaired by RGoB and UN Co-chairs with technical support from UN facilitators ran this mechanism through MYR and EYR. At the end of the year, these Outcome Groups present achievements made in the year with an annual plan for the next year to the Country Programme Board.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management

72.

There has been follow up to Agenda 2030 and the UN is helping the RGoB in its determined efforts to align the next five-year plan with the SDGs. Whether this represents drawing on collective global assets to provide technical expertise as opposed to local level UN assets was difficult to ascertain.
More importantly, the challenge of achieving GNH, its role in climate change and sustainable development and the evolving geopolitical situation in neighbouring states may move Bhutan closer to the global centre stage over the following decades.


Tag: Agenda 2030 SDG accelerators SDG Integration

73.

The experience in multiple countries is that the UNCTs have historically found it difficult to carry out joint programme identifications and formulations. However, in Bhutan, joint programmes have been active since 2016 because of a change in the nature of the proposals being submitted which now include cross-cutting issues like gender, disability and environment sustainability. This type of cross-cutting enables more than one agency to work together leading to effective joint programmes/programming.
The ones that have been successful are those where resource opportunities were available and therefore not driven by other factors such as efficiency, effectiveness, and coherence, for example gender is one area where almost all agencies work but UN joint programme on gender did not materialize.


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Joint UN Programme Programme/Project Design UN Agencies

74.

The UNCT in Bhutan currently engages in the following four joint programmes initiatives:
The SDGs, Data and Support to the 12th FYP Formulation joint programme supports the RGoB to develop a results-oriented, inclusive and financially sustainable 12th FYP based on data for evidence-based decision making through three outcomes: 1) The 12th FYP is inclusive and results-oriented, mapping progress to advance GNH while also measuring SDG impact where relevant; 2) A data ecosystem is in place in Bhutan that supports evidence-based decision-making; and 3) The public sectors are familiar with SDGs and how to leverage them as a tool to achieve GNH. This joint programme is led by UNDP with members drawn from UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP.


Tag: Joint UN Programme UN Agencies Agenda 2030 Data and Statistics

75.

The Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment joint programme aims to support gender equality in Bhutan by addressing fragmented support and enhancing transparency for greater synergy to increase programme effectiveness not only amongst UN agencies, funds and programmes, but also together with development partners who are committed to supporting gender equality in Bhutan.


Tag: Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Joint UN Programme Civil Societies and NGOs UN Agencies

76.

The Disability joint programme aims to support the RGoB to create an enabling environment for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratification by enhancing evidence-based policy-making supported with appropriate data/analysis, and fostering behaviour change by raising the awareness of duty bearers and service providers to ensure no-one is left behind.


Tag: Joint UN Programme Disabilities Agenda 2030 Leaving no one behind

77.

The Emergency Preparedness and Response joint operation supports the RGoB to develop an Inter-agency Contingency Plan for Earthquakes that clearly delegates the roles and responsibilities of various partners and actors; and conducts earthquake simulation exercises to test contingency plans and coordinate mechanisms to identify possible gaps in the plan. There are additionally several joint activities (besides the joint programmes/programming) such as the successful collaboration between WHO and UNICEF in the area of neonatal care. This can be cited as an example of where agency collaboration took place spontaneously.


Tag: Crisis Response Crisis Surge Capacity Disaster Risk assessments Disaster risk management Natural Disaster Joint UN Programme UN Agencies

78.

UN Bhutan became a DaO self-starter country in 2008. Since then, the DaO has helped improve efficiency in several different areas, one of which in the current One Programme cycle was an improvement in business operations. In 2016, the UNCT’s Operating as One approach achieved a 90% success rate against planned activities. 19% (USD 65,820) from the total planned budget of USD 342,155 was saved by using cost-efficient approaches. Moreover, one of the government officials who had worked in an UN office before returning to government service provided supportive comments on the UN system’s efforts to DaO as it had set an example to the Bhutanese ministerial departments of how to work together in a non-silo fashion.


Tag: Efficiency Joint UN Programme Operational Efficiency

79.

The evaluation team identified a number of challenges which hindered efficiency in DaO – data gaps and coordination. The evaluation found coordination (both internal and external) as one of the biggest issues in the DaO.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation

80.

Data Gaps
• The mechanism to monitor the efficiency of the DaO has not been established to provide enough data and information on the efficiency of DaO.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Data and Statistics

81.

Coordination
The One Programme has been implemented and monitored under the overall supervision and guidance of a joint government UN CPB. The board is co-chaired by the Secretary, GNHC and the UNRC. Board members comprise senior officials of key national implementing partners and UNCT members. Joint Government-UN Outcome Groups for each of the four outcomes are responsible for planning, implementation, monitoring and achievement of planned outputs and outcomes under the One Programme. Outcome Groups consist of representatives of relevant national implementing or strategic partners and UN agencies. In addition to these Outcome Groups, in late 2015, the UNCT introduced the IITA8 to focus on integrated planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting effectively on the expected thematic results.
A number of RGoB officials and development partners talked about the high transaction costs of working with the UN especially when it comes to meetings. UN agencies tend to approach the RGoB and development partners for meetings separately. This sometimes means the RGoB and development partners have to deal with several meetings on similar topics, rather than organizing the meetings in a coordinated way.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Joint UN Programme Coordination

82.

Internal Coordination (within the UN)

  • Leadership aimed at UN coherence and coordination have been provided to the UNCT but there is room for better coordination. Agency specific mandates are important but each agency staff time commitment to One Programme collaboration should also be prioritized.
  • Non-resident Agencies/Regional Commision: There is room for improvement in coordination with NRAs/ESCAP. The UNCT is not fully aware of the NRAs/ESCAP interventions in Bhutan. This needs to be addressed to avoid potential UN overlaps and duplication.

Tag: Challenges Harmonization Joint UN Programme Programme Synergy UN Agencies Coordination

83.

External Coordination (with the RGoB, CSOs and Development Partners)
• RGoB:
• CPB: The past three CPB meetings saw neither appropriate levels of participation by members nor did they engage in high level strategic discussions. This seemed to have stemmed from the fact that most of the officials that participated in the CPB meetings were at the technical level who were directly responsible for implementing programme. In addition, CPB also lacked adequate CSO representation as Tarayana was the only member.
• Outcome Group: Inadequate leadership by Co-Charis resulted in poor strategic planning during regular meetings such as the mid-year review, end-year review and Country Programme Board meeting. This resulted in preparing the Annual Work Plan with activity level targets which did not help with monitoring and reporting of the Annual Work Plan during the MYR and EYR. Yearly planning and review coordination under Outcomes 3 and 4 was a big challenge as these groups had more than 20 implementing partners to coordinate with. This burden was carried by the UN Outcome Group facilitators as the RGoB did not appoint any themselves.
• CSOs: CSOs will continue to play a major role in achieving national goals and objectives and ensuring sustainability as they have a wide reach to grassroots all over Bhutan and play a key development role for the long-term sustainability. In this context, CSO support, including capacity enhancement of CSOs, is going to be one of the most important areas for the UNCT.
• Development Partners: The bi-monthly Development Partners Group meeting aims at better coordination and collaboration among development partners. However, there is still a long way to go for coordination and collaboration as the group is currently just for information sharing including agencies analytical works and missions.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies Coordination

84.

The UNCT has made strong progress in DaO. The UNCT Bhutan achieved 13 out of 15 core elements under the five pillars of DaO – Core Element 13 (Operations costs and budgets integrated in the overall medium-term Common Budgetary Framework) and Core Element 14 (Joint Communication Strategy) were the two exceptions. Although the UNCT made good progress in DaO overall, there are several issues which need to be addressed during the next UNDAF (Annex 5). The core elements are:


Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Joint UN Programme UN Agencies

85.

Pillar 1: Overarching Pillar
Core Element 1 – One Programme Oversight:

The RGoB and UN jointly organize the CPB meeting every year to discuss annual progress of the One Programme especially financial delivery, physical delivery, indicator progress, achievements and challenges. Areas of improvement in this forum are the need to increase RGoB ownership and weak strategic discussion during the board meeting.


Tag: Challenges Joint UN Programme Oversight

86.

Core Element 2 – Annual Country Result Report:

  • No endorsement of the report by the CPB. SOP recommends CPB endorsement, but the UNCT Bhutan normally gets endorsement from the UNCT only.
  • No reporting on joint communication, as joint communication is not active in the UNCT. There has been no achievement to report in this area.
  • Tendency to report lower level achievements (i.e. activity level achievements) not higher-level achievements (i.e. output or outcome level achievements).
  • Late publishing of the annual report. Due to lack of capacity in the RCO, the report tends to be released late (i.e. around mid-year).

Tag: Challenges Effectiveness Joint UN Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

87.

Pillar 2: One Programme
Core Element 4 - Joint Annual Work Plans signed by involved UN entities

  • Some of UN agencies including WHO, IFAD, UNAIDS, UNCTAD, UNEP, UNESCO, UNCDF, and UNIDO, implements projects in Bhutan but do not participate in AWP and its planning, reviewing and reporting process. This makes it challenging for the UNCT in Bhutan to monitor and report results of UN agencies working in UN.

Tag: Challenges Joint UN Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

88.

Core Element 5 – One Programme Coordination:

  • Some results groups have relatively strong leadership by heads of agencies but others are not at the same level. Lack of leadership by heads of agencies results in poor strategic planning during regular meetings such as the mid-year review, end-year review and Country Programme Board meeting. This resulted in preparing the Annual Work Plan with activity level targets which did not help with monitoring and reporting of the Annual Work Plan during the MYR and EYR.
  • Not fully aligned with the national planning and reviewing mechanism. The RGoB has an Annual Performance Appraisal system for their annual monitoring purpose. Currently, the UN annual planning, monitoring, reviewing and reporting process is not aligned with this RGoB system. In the past, the UNCT tried to have an agreement with the RGoB but it has not materialized.

Tag: Challenges Joint UN Programme Country Government UN Agencies Coordination

89.

Pillar 3: Common Budgetary Framework and One Fund
Core Element 6 – Common Budgetary Framework (CBF):

  • The CBF of the One Programme was prepared based on best available estimates of agency at the time of planning. Phasing out of Bhutan’s development partners during the One Programme period and improvement in Bhutan’s microeconomic indicators leading to Bhutan’s possible transition to LMIC in the next few years have significantly affected resource mobilization specially in the social areas as evident from the under-resourced Outcomes 3 and 4.

Tag: Challenges Resource mobilization Joint UN Programme

90.

Core Element 8 – Joint Resource Mobilization Strategy:

  • The UN Bhutan Country Fund was established on 30 June 2009 to have a pooled mechanism to mobilize and allocate additional resources at the country level, targeting unfunded gaps. During the One Programme period, the UNCT continued to use this fund as a vehicle for joint resource mobilization.
  • A Joint resource mobilization strategy was prepared by the UNCT in 2014. The UNCT was able to access the Delivering as One Funding window, USD 754,000 including from bilateral partners such Switzerland, Austria and Australia. Despite such successes, the UNCT was not able to actively implement Joint Resource mobilization.

Tag: Challenges Resource mobilization Bilateral partners UN Agencies

91.

Pillar 4: Operating as One
Core Element 11 – Business Operation Strategy (BOS):

  • The BOS was endorsed by the UNCT, adapted to local needs and capacities in order to enhance operational oneness processes through eliminating duplication of common processes to leverage efficiencies and maximize economies of scale, is highly recommended.
  • The BOS was signed late - June 2017 (just before the evaluation started); and the finalization of the BOS took more than a year.

Tag: Challenges Joint UN Programme Operational Efficiency

92.

Core Element 13 - Operations costs and budgets integrated in the overall medium-term Common Budgetary Framewor

  • There was a resistance from some of UNCT members to reveal entire operational/admin costs of the UN. Therefore, this Core Element has not been fully achieved.

Tag: Challenges Anti-corruption Joint UN Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

93.

Pillar 5: Communicating as One
Core Element 14 – Joint communication strategy:

  • There is no joint communication strategy and no active joint communication work among UNCT members.
  • Government counterparts fully recognize agency specific support but have less of an understanding of the One Programme achievements. This may be due to agencies preference for agency specific communications. Coupled with this is also the lack of communication capacity in the RCO to actively support joint UN communications.

Tag: Challenges Communication Joint UN Programme UN Agencies

94.

Core Element 15 – Country Communications Group:

  • A Country Communications Group was established with clear ToR, but it did not meet regularly and is not chaired by a head of agency. With only one agency having a full-time communications officer and a lack of communications capacity in the rest of the agencies and the RCO, it was difficult to pursue joint UN communications.

Tag: Challenges Communication Joint UN Programme

95.

At the national level, policy sustainability is ensured through collaboration with the RGoB to formulate policies. For example, in 2014, the National Disaster Risk Management Strategic Policy Framework was drafted with UN support to strengthen policy pertaining to disaster risk reduction, and to highlight key priorities emerging from the Disaster Management Act of 2013.


Tag: Disaster risk management Sustainability Policy Advisory

96.

One of the programme initiatives at the national level was to involve people and youth in democratic processes and policy development by giving support to the Election Commission of Bhutan to constitute the Children’s Parliament in 2015 and encourage women’s participation in local government and parliamentary elections.


Tag: Sustainability Gender Parity Civic Engagement Election Local Governance Youth

97.

Capacity development in all sectors of the organizations are rendered to illicit good policy making in the RGoB.


Tag: Sustainability Country Government Capacity Building

98.

At the sub-national level, programme sustainability is ensured by working with local government and CSOs. The UNCT has worked with CSOs in various different areas including gender equality (i.e. RENEW), environmental sustainability and poverty reduction (Tarayana), and rights-based approaches to development (RENEW, Ability Bhutan Society).


Tag: Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Sustainability Gender Equality Local Governance Poverty Reduction

Recommendations
1

One Programme Programming needs to be integrated and focused, but flexible

2

Establish a strong Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism.

3

Establish a stronger Coordination Mechanism.

4

Active Joint Resource Mobilization

 

 

5

Active Communicating as One.

6

Advancing Delivering as One further for efficiency gains.

1. Recommendation:

One Programme Programming needs to be integrated and focused, but flexible

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Agreed.

Areas of programme support will be prioritized to avoid a scattered focii and in order to bring innovations/best-case practices from the international arena and contextualize them to the needs of Bhutan. Outcome will be limited to three or four outcomes with a maximum of three joint programmes. Budget projections for the next UNDAF to make more accurate and explore and access alternative sources of financing and use limited resources more efficiently by leveraging and prioritizing investments for sustained development. Continue support for upstream policy work using regional and global expertise to ensure sustainability of the programme and enhance capacity of the RGoB and CSOs to collect, generate, analyse and translate relevant and reliable strategic data and information to achieve the Agenda 2030 Agenda of Leaving No One Behind

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Make three or four outcomes with maximum of three Joint Programme.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
UN Agencies, GNHC, NSB 2019/03 Completed The new UNSDPF has four outcomes and four Joint programmes as a result of this recommendation. History
2. Enhance capacity of the RGoB and CSOs to collect, generate, analyse and translate relevant and reliable strategic data and information to achieve the Agenda 2030 Agenda of Leaving No One Behind.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
UN Agencies, GNHC, NSB 2019/03 Completed UNSDPF 2019-2023 has Data as the Outcome-1. And UNDP is the lead for the SDG dashboard under outcome-1 History
2. Recommendation:

Establish a strong Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

The capacity of UN Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) group will be strengthened and one RCO staff will be assigned to provide dedicated support to the PME Group. A GNHC and UN PME task team (e.g. joint monitoring etc) will be formed and develop a clear ToC for the UNSDPF and a strong Results and Resource Framework (RRF) will be developed using common SDGs indicators with the RGoB and having less but well-defined indicators. The number of indicators will be reduced to a ‘manageable’ number with clear definitions for each indicator. Allocate specific responsibilities to UN agencies and/or implementing partners to monitor progress. The PME group will prepare a five-year M&E plan with improved monitoring tools, clear ToR for the PME, plus annual plan/schedule for the Mid Year Review and End Year Review. A UN and RGoB joint evaluation involving all UN agencies will be planned with NRAs/ESCAP to be included in AWP preparation, review and reporting processes aligning to AWP process with the RGoB planning process (APA). Explore the harmonizing of reporting methodologies among UN agencies. This approach will provide important opportunities for increasing efficiencies and reduced transaction costs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Strengthen capacity of UN Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) group and assign one RCO staff to provide dedicated support to the PME Group.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
RCO, UNCT, UN PME Group 2019/01 Completed The PME group strengthened and RCO under the delinked structure has added capacity for outcome group and results coordination History
2. RCO will lead the PME group to prepare a five-year M&E plan with improved monitoring tools, clear ToR for the PME, plus annual plan/schedule for the Mid-Year Review and End Year Review.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/07]
RCO, UN PME 2020/03 Completed The PME and Outcome Group with Lead Agencies has clear ToR, defined roles and work together for AWP, mid-year review and result reporting History
3. A UN and RGoB joint evaluation involving all UN agencies will be planned with NRAs/ESCAP to be included in AWP preparation, review and reporting processes aligning to AWP process with the RGoB planning process (APA).
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
UN, RCO, RGoB 2019/06 Completed UNDP CPD and UNSDPF are aligned to RGOB's planning processes and NKRAs. History
3. Recommendation:

Establish a stronger Coordination Mechanism.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

One programme group will actively engage NRAs/ESCAP in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the next UNSPDF. The Country Programme Board membership will be revised and select only relevant IPs for the CPB membership with additional members from CSOs, and where relevant academia, and the private sector. RGoB co-facilitators will be appointed under each outcome and coordinate among UN agencies will combine meetings and consultations with the RGoB so as to reduce the transaction burden on the RGoB. CSOs will be supported in their capacity enhancement to play major role in the areas of Leaving No One Behind and to strengthen their sustainability in the medium–longer term. Promote active information sharing through partnership mapping to avoid duplications and overlapping by focusing on collaboration in the priority areas of: i) SDG Data and ii) Disaster Preparedness.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Country Programme Board membership will be revised and select only relevant IPs for the CPB membership with additional members from CSOs, and where relevant academia and the private sector.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
RCO, Outcome Group 2019/06 Completed This has been completed with revised board memberships History
2. CSOs will be supported in their capacity enhancement to play major role in the areas of Leaving No One Behind and to strengthen their sustainability in the medium–longer term.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
UNCT, RCO, UN PME. 2019/06 Completed UN through the RCO led has been actively supporting more CSOs. History
4. Recommendation:

Active Joint Resource Mobilization

 

 

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

The UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and UNCT will lead joint resource mobilization actions (with a focus on joint programmes) and report quarterly on such actions through the monthly UNCT meetings. A Joint Resource Mobilization Strategy will be prepared with actions based on the analysis of the development financing landscape in Bhutan and innovative financing opportunities (i.e. Social Impact Investment, Green Financing, etc). As part of this strategy, ways to optimize the One Fund shall be explored.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. A Joint Resource Mobilization Strategy will be prepared with actions based on the analysis of the development financing landscape in Bhutan and innovative financing opportunities.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/07]
UNCT, RCO 2019/12 Completed Final draft of BOS completed and submitted to UNCT for approval History
5. Recommendation:

Active Communicating as One.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

A dedicated communications officer from the RCO will assist joint communications/advocacy and act as secretariat of a Communications Results Group. With RCO’s lead, will formulate an annual Joint Communications Strategy workplan that is well resourced.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Formulate an annual Joint Communications Strategy workplan that is well resourced.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2019/10/09]
RCO, UNCT 2019/12 Completed Dedicated Communications Analyst recruited and Communications strategy developed. History
6. Recommendation:

Advancing Delivering as One further for efficiency gains.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

The next Business Operations Strategy for UN agencies in Bhutan should be prepared and signed in the middle of 2018 with a start date of 1 January 2019. Common service costs and budgets will be included in the middle-term Common Budgetary Framework for the next UNSPDF.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Business Operations Strategy for UN agencies in Bhutan should be prepared and signed in the middle of 2018 with a start date of 1 January 2019.
[Added: 2018/11/09] [Last Updated: 2020/01/07]
OMT, UNCT 2019/12 Completed Online system based draft of BOS has been completed pending UNCT's approval History

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